Understanding Contracts – A Simple Q&A Guide to Signing Contracts

Welcome to an easy-to-follow Q&A guide, designed to clarify the sometimes confusing world of contracts.

Ever been confused about how to sign a contract? You are not alone. We are here to explain the basics and make signing contracts easy to understand for everyone.

Yes. Electronic signatures are recognised as legally valid under laws such as the Digital Signature Act 1997 and the Electronic Commerce Act 2006. However, electronic signatures cannot be used for certain documents such as Power of Attorney and such documents must be properly executed according to relevant legal requirements.

Not at all. Parties can sign the contracts in counterparts, meaning each party can sign a separate copy. When combined, these copies constitute the full, enforceable agreement.

The number of copies that need to be signed typically corresponds to the number of parties involved. For instance, in a two-party agreement, each party would sign two copies in a physical setting. In the case of electronic signing, a single copy is adequate.

No. It is not mandatory to sign every page. Generally, signatures are only needed on the designated signatory sections (it is usually located at the last page of the contract). However, initialling each page can prevent unauthorised alterations to the contract.

Business contracts usually do not need a witness. Personal documents like wills, often require witness signatures for added legitimacy and to uphold the document in a legal setting.

Stamping signifies that any applicable taxes or duties on a document have been paid. Even without stamping, a contract that is properly signed by all parties is still a legally binding document. However, for a contract to be admissible in court as evidence, it needs to be stamped. Contracts should be stamped promptly after signing (within 30 days from its execution) to avoid late penalties.

This Q&A is intended to simplify your approach to contract signing. Remember, while we provide a basic outline here, the specifics can differ based on where you are and the details of your situation.

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Responsibilities of Executor:

  • Apply for and extract the grant of probate.
  • Make arrangements for the funeral of the deceased.
  • Collect and make an accurate inventory of the deceased’s assets.
  • Settling the debts and obligations of the deceased.
  • Distributing the assets.

Note for Digital Executor:
If you wish to leave your digital assets to certain people in your Will, there are important steps that need to be taken to ensure that your wishes can be carried out:

  • Keep a note of specific instructions on how to access your username and password of your digital asset.
  • You are advised to store these private and confidential information in a USB stick, password management tool or write them down.
  • Please inform your executor or a trusted person of the whereabouts of the tools so that they will have access to your digital asset.